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James Bond: The Authorized Bio of 007


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#1 zencat

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 03:36 PM

Now on CBn's Main Page...
My review/overview of...

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James Bond: The Authroized Biography of 007
A Look at the least known James Bond continuation novel



#2 deth

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 05:08 PM

inspired to write it by the recent discussions eh?

"The premise of the book is strained a bit in the last third (abruptly sectioned off with its own heading titled

#3 Xenobia

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 05:39 PM

I am surprised that you both don't like the last third of the book. For me it is the first third that almost made me stop reading, but the book improves right to the end.

Nice work Zencat.

-- Xenobia

#4 Leviathan

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 05:47 PM

I so love this book!

I first found it in the mid-1970's, coverless and missing the first few pages, for about a dime, and it became my near-constant companion. It was labelled "Biography" on the spine, not "Fiction" and I was naive enough to buy into its fantasy completely. Wasn't it what I'd always wanted to believe? That the dour, world-saving James Bond of Fleming's novels was a real man? That those adventures really happened? Later, of course, I would look back on that belief with embarrassment. As if I wouldn't have heard about the day the entire population of Fort Knox lay down and played dead! But in that first giddy rush of reading the book, I was completely taken in by it.

To this day, I view it as canonical Bond, and wish dearly we'd get a chance to learn what happened to Bond's brother Henry.

I also love the language of this novel. Pearson has captured Fleming's tone with near-perfection, and there is no mental Jar moving from Fleming to Pearson as you read through the books.

Thanks for jogging my memory of this book in a better way than its other recent jogging -- reading Jim Hatfield's lifts from it in "The Killing Zone."

--
Jonathan Sheen
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#5 stromberg

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 06:16 PM

I'm sure it's a fine article (as usual). But as you were so kind to mention that it contains spoilers, I won't read it now, because that book is on top of my to-read list (of course, inspired by the recent discussion). Hopefully can start it on the weekend and read the article next week.

But allow me to attach a scan of the German cover (actually, it is from Switzerland). Something for the Roger fans among us (sorry, haven't got a bigger version at hand right now).

And, for the record (and maybe some collector), here are the bibliographical details to that edition:

Pearson, John: Agent 007

Attached Files



#6 Athena007

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 06:19 PM

ZenCat... IF I ever get a free moment I may have to borrow this book from you. :)

#7 Mister Asterix

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 06:39 PM

Great review, zen.

I

#8 SeaNNy-T.

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:32 PM

im not in the clear understanding, is James Bond really a real person who the fleming books were based on? was he really numbered "007"?

#9 Athena007

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:41 PM

James Bond was a real man. It's said that Fleming took the name from the book "Birds of the West Indies", by a real British ornithologist named James Bond.

As for the secret agent James Bond being real. No. John Pearson wrote this book as if Bond were real. It's a faked authorized Bio, a novel of sorts. :) An "if Bond were real, this would be his story". -- FUN STUFF if you ask me.

#10 SeaNNy-T.

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:43 PM

ok that sucks

#11 Mister Asterix

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:51 PM

As for the secret agent James Bond being real. No. John Pearson wrote this book as if Bond were real. It's a faked authorized Bio, a novel of sorts. :) An "if Bond were real, this would be his story". -- FUN STUFF if you ask me.

Or is that what Pearson wants us to think. :)

#12 Bon-san

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:52 PM

Thumbs up for your nice article zencat.

#13 Athena007

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:58 PM

As for the secret agent James Bond being real. No. John Pearson wrote this book as if Bond were real. It's a faked authorized Bio, a novel of sorts. :)  An "if Bond were real, this would be his story". -- FUN STUFF if you ask me.

Or is that what Pearson wants us to think. :)

Could be... could indeed be... :)

#14 bryonalston

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 11:33 PM

I'm a little confused (I haven't read the book.) So the man that Pearson interviewed wasn't the real James Bond? All of the stuff was based on fact, but shaped into a plausible plot, including Ian Fleming and Honey Rider? Was this a biography of the James Bond character in the novels, or the "real" James Bond in the book?

#15 deth

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 11:48 PM

I'm a little confused (I haven't read the book.) So the man that Pearson interviewed wasn't the real James Bond? All of the stuff was based on fact, but shaped into a plausible plot, including Ian Fleming and Honey Rider? Was this a biography of the James Bond character in the novels, or the "real" James Bond in the book?

this is a bio of the "real" secret agent James Bond.... and it tells how Fleming based his Bond stories off of this "real" James Bond.

#16 Blofeld's Barber

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:07 AM

Great article - I just purchased this book from abebook.com!

#17 Athena007

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:18 AM

I'm a little confused (I haven't read the book.) So the man that Pearson interviewed wasn't the real James Bond? All of the stuff was based on fact, but shaped into a plausible plot, including Ian Fleming and Honey Rider? Was this a biography of the James Bond character in the novels, or the "real" James Bond in the book?

Pearson never interviewed anyone. It's fiction made to look like non-fiction.

#18 Qwerty

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:42 AM

And you've reignited my interest to grab this book as quickly as possible, when it comes to Bond, I gotta buy it!

This one has been very tricky to find, and for a reasonable price, but I will.

A terrific job on this article, you really know how to make the literary James Bond shine on the CBn main page! :)

#19 Genrewriter

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:46 AM

Great article, John. :)

#20 jwheels

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 03:53 AM

I always enjoy your articles John, and this one is no exception. This makes me want to hunt for a copy of the book at every second hand store around here.

#21 zencat

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 05:12 AM

Thanks for the kind words, gang. This was a fun one to read, and a fun one to write. I actually got an email from someone today who said my article caused a spike in sales of this book on ABE. Kind of cool. Now how do I manipulate that stockmarket? :)

#22 Icephoenix

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:48 AM

Wow, a very sweet and interesting read. The whole concept, while controversal, sounds like a jolly good romp. I'll have to look into getting it ASAP!

#23 B007GLE

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 02:29 PM

Great article Zencat,

I had never given this book much thoughth but now I know I must rtack it down. (I bet used book websites find a spike in interest for this tome after your article.)

Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

#24 zencat

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 03:34 PM

I've actually gotten more mail on this one article than any of my other ones. People seem to be either completely unaware of this book and thrilled to learn about it, or huge fans who are happy to see a CBn do a review. It truly is the least-known continuation novel, but I really think it's one of the best. Too bad IFP have no plans to reprint.

#25 deth

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 04:07 PM

I would never have head of it if I hadn't been browsing for John Pearson's Fleming bio at the Public Library....




...REMEMBER PPL!!! CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!!! they may have it! For me, it's a invaluable Bond resource. :)

#26 zencat

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 04:22 PM

You know, why do I never think of recommending the library for hard to find books? I'm going to go add that to that last paragraph of my article, deth. Thanks. :)

#27 zencat

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:13 PM

I am surprised that you both don't like the last third of the book. For me it is the first third that almost made me stop reading, but the book improves right to the end.

I had expected to have this reaction, but I was very surprised when I had just the opposite. I think this book shows that tales of a "young James Bond" can work -- as long as it really is Fleming's Bond and not a Harry Potter clone.

#28 zencat

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:51 PM

I just added this image to the story because it's too much fun. This from the back of the UK paperback edition.

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#29 thuffner

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 09:03 PM

Good read. Thanks for the article. :)

#30 deth

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 10:19 PM

lol @ that picture....... I love those little sort of things...... :)




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